If you’re out of the loop when it comes to Halo Infinite’s story, then we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about Master Chief’s journey so far and what’s next.
When it comes to the story of the Halo series, it seems like Master Chief’s “finishing this fight” line was a little premature. Delivered at the end of Halo 2, as humanity’s war with The Covenant reached its climax, it’s clear that the universe (and Xbox & PC players) aren’t done with Petty Officer John-117.
Halo is a sci-fi first-person shooter franchise set in the 26th century in which the player takes on the role of Master Chief, a genetically enhanced super-soldier known as a Spartan. Chief is extra special though, as he’s now an endangered species after most other Spartans were killed in the Halo prequel Reach.
- Halo story original trilogy timeline
- Reclaimer saga: Timeline explained
- Halo Infinite story: What we know so far
In the original Halo trilogy timeline, humanity is at war with an alien race known as The Covenant. While not an inherently evil race, The Covenant’s society is ruled as a theocracy and their religious leaders consider humanity an affront to their gods, therefore they must be destroyed.
The Covenant worships an ancient and long-dead civilization known as the Forerunners, who built gigantic ‘ringworld’ superweapons known as Halos. These Halos are capable of wiping out all life in a galaxy and The Covenant aims to use one against humanity.
However, The Covenant is revealed to have misunderstood their teachings. Instead of humanity, the Forerunners created Halos to destroy a parasitic race of aliens known as The Flood. The Flood essentially turns other lifeforms into zombies and spread like a virus. They also target humans and Covenant alike.
- Read more: How to pre-order Halo Infinite
Once this is discovered, a civil war breaks out among the Covenant. Some remain intent on destroying humans while others consider The Flood a greater threat and seek an alliance. Once the Covenant’s misguided leadership is removed, the war between them and humanity ends.
Halo 3 largely wrapped up the original saga, when joint human and Covenant forces destroy Gravemind, an intelligence governing The Flood. Deposed Covenant zealot Truth is also defeated when he continues to try and destroy both humanity and The Flood.
However, Master Chief’s spacefaring adventures continued as new enemies reared their heads and various other appendages. Halo 4 began the Reclaimer Saga of which Halo Infinite is the third chapter in that timeline.
The fourth Halo title deals with the return of an ancient Forerunner known as the Didact, who attempts to destroy humanity after deeming them too powerful. He also believes that they’re incapable of preventing the return of The Flood. Master Chief is able to defeat the Didact and his allies the Prometheans – but loses his AI ally Cortana in the process.
Cortana returns in Halo 5: Guardians, revealing she used Forerunner technology to survive and expand across the galaxy. Cortana reactivates Forerunner weapons known as Guardians (created to battle Flood zombies) and intends to use them to forcibly bring peace to the universe. As an AI, Cortana deems this the most logical course of action, despite it removing free will from all sentient races.
Master Chief attempts to convince Cortana to stand down and goes rogue to find her while a squad of newly made Spartans is sent to bring him back. The game’s timeline plays out over the backdrop of a new war between The Covenant and the Promethean forces still loyal to the defeated Didact.
Cortana argues that her method will prevent wars and the game ends with her seemingly activating a Halo ring while humming to herself. All other powerful AIs across the galaxy then betray their creators and begin swearing thier allegiance to Cortana.
Microsoft has said that Halo Infinite will be a continuation of Halo 5. They went on to call it Master Chief’s “greatest adventure yet to save humanity”. The storyline of Halo Infinite has also been described as “much more human”, and that the Chief will play a more central role than he did in Halo 5.
Halo Infinite’s story will likely involve Master Chief needing to somehow stop Cortana, but without destroying his old ally. As Cortana has become a threat, however, it’s likely that Chief’s human bosses, Covenant allies, and various enemies will want to destroy her. This means that in Halo Infinite, Master Chief may this time be fighting the whole universe.